NewVIc student pulls off A-level miracle after major surgery

PUBLISHED: 14:40 18 August 2016 | UPDATED: 14:51 18 August 2016

Zohaib Azam

Zohaib Azam


A student who could only revise for a month after undergoing a stomach operation has celebrated getting "fantastic" A-level results.

NewVIc students celebrate their A-level successNewVIc students celebrate their A-level success

Zohaib Azam is heading to King’s College London to study maths after earning an A*, A and C at Newham Sixth Form College, in Prince Regent Lane, Plaistow.

He was out of action from January to April because his intestines “stuck onto each other” and he was rushed into surgery.

“I actually don’t know how I did it,” Zohaib, who lives in Donald Road, Upton Park, said.

“My expectations were really low – I opened the chemistry envelope first, which was a C, and thought, ‘That’s it, then’.”

Eddie PlayfairEddie Playfair

He added: “But then I saw the As, and that was fantastic.”

The 18-year-old , who said he will “see what happens” when it comes to his career, still sees a doctor every month.

“They advised me not to go to university,” he said. “They wanted me to take a break.

“But I believe in myself.”

Usman NiazUsman Niaz

His college, NewVIc, saw its students achieve a 97 per cent pass rate – A*–E – while 62pc got A*–Cs.

Last year the latter figure was 65pc, meaning the comprehensive experienced a slight decline in passes.

Principal Eddie Playfair, however, pointed to many positives.

“We had 88 students getting triple distinctions, 117 being offered places at Russell Group universities and 25 A* grades,” he said.

“I’m extremely proud of them – A-level exams are getting tougher and tougher.”

He added: “We’re not a super-selecting school – we are an open comprehensive – and I’m pleased we can help so many young people onto university.”

One grateful student off to study a degree is Usman Niaz, who has been accepted to read medicine at Southampton.

He achieved an A* in maths, A in biology and A in chemistry, and is thinking of being a surgeon – but plans to “see how it goes”.

“I’ve wanted to do medicine since I was in Year 7,” the 18-year-old, who lives in Gillett Avenue in East Ham, said.

“I just want to be able to help people, serve the community – I would like to do it in Newham one day.”

He will be the first in his family to go to university, and expects his parents to be proud – but admits he didn’t study too intensely.

“I did maybe seven or eight hours a week,” he said.

“It’s all about consistency.”

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